Driver's-Side Oh-Sh!t Handle - Whaaa?

This is a quick photo of the inside of a rental car on a recent trip - a Ford Behemoth, or whatever those gargantuan SUV's are called. And there, on the driver's side, is what's lovingly referred to in my neck of the woods as an "oh-shit handle" - that thing you reach for when the ride gets crazy and hang onto for dear life.

So, why on the driver's side? Besides being worthy of a mindless snicker, it almost speaks to the decreasing responsibility assumed by individuals. "Sure I drove the car into the dang tree while I was half-drunk and making a phone call, but I held onto that handle and I still got banged up - I'm suing!" From a design perspective, the possibilities I can think of are (1) aesthetic symmetry, (2) manufacturing-efficient use of identical parts on both sides of the vehicle, or (3) intending the handle to be used by shorter drivers to climb all the way up into this monster. All possibly worthy causes.

But mostly, it's just good for a laugh. Like the braille dots on the drive-through ATM, like the locks on the doors of 24/7 convenience stores, and like so many other little design quirks in our world. Enjoy them!

1 comment:

Ben Kraal said...

I always call those a "Jesus handle".